Flaring expected at ExxonMobil Thursday as BR refinery gets back to normal following inferno
UPDATE: ExxonMobil says passersby may notice flaring at its Baton Rouge refinery Thursday. The flaring is part of normal operations and is no cause for alarm, ExxonMobil said.
You may notice flaring at our facilities as we work to adjust operations. Flares are safety control devices intended to consume excess hydrocarbons. We apologize for any inconvenience this flaring may cause.— ExxonMobil Baton Rouge (@ExxonMobilBRA) February 13, 2020
BATON ROUGE - A large fireball erupted within the Exxon refinery in north Baton Rouge late Tuesday night, and as of 6:45 a.m. Wednesday the blaze was completely extinguished.
Shortly after the fire broke out, the Baton Rouge Fire Department was on the scene, arriving just after midnight. Exxon posted on Twitter that its fire crew had the blaze contained to the area where it occurred.
There were no injuries, and specific information related to the cause of the fire has not been released.
The Baton Rouge Fire Department said there was no off-site impact, but officials are continuing to monitor the facility fence line and surrounding areas of the North Baton Rouge community. They say at this point, "all readings are non-detect" but they're continuing to conduct air monitoring.
Officials plan to launch a thorough investigation into the incident to find out exactly what caused the fire.
Good job to our first responders for their response to the fire at ExxonMobil overnight. I’m thankful there were no injuries and Baton Rouge Fire Department determined there was no offsite impact to air quality.— Sharon Weston Broome (@MayorBroome) February 12, 2020
Watch eyewitness videos
An eyewitness recorded shocking video of the fireball from I-110. Click HERE to see the video.
Another eyewitness recorded video from near the plant's fence line. Click HERE to see the video.
Video shared with WBRZ recorded near the epicenter of the event showed the fire raging; At some points of the video, power lines or transformers appear to burst as the fire burned through equipment. Watch the video from close to the center of the fire HERE.
Statements from Exxon
UPDATE 6:45 am— ExxonMobil Baton Rouge (@ExxonMobilBRA) February 12, 2020
We responded to a fire at the Refinery late last night. The fire was contained to the area where it occurred and is currently extinguished. pic.twitter.com/Vc3xxRKthE
UPDATE: We are responding to a fire at the Refinery. The fire was contained to the area where it occurred. There are no reported injuries. We are actively monitoring the facility fence line and surrounding areas of the NBR community. At this point, all readings are non-detect.— ExxonMobil Baton Rouge (@ExxonMobilBRA) February 12, 2020
Volunteer fire team members are responding to a fire @ the Refinery. It was contained to the area where it occurred. Responders are still assessing the situation. We are monitoring air quality at the fence line. We apologize for any inconvenience and concern this may have caused.— ExxonMobil Baton Rouge (@ExxonMobilBRA) February 12, 2020